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Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - Natural Resources Defense Council

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6 to 12
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The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a site for both animals and controversy, as this site demonstrates. NRDC's site is a well-done treatment of an important national resource, but...more
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The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a site for both animals and controversy, as this site demonstrates. NRDC's site is a well-done treatment of an important national resource, but with a point of view. As such, teachers may find it useful in studying both the science of the Arctic and the government and political issues surrounding how we use our natural resources.

tag(s): arctic (44)

In the Classroom

Try having students compare information on this site with other web sites about the ANWR. How do these sites differ in their presentation?

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Students Concerned by U.S. Plan to Sell Trees - New York Times

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4 to 12
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This New York Times article highlights a class of sixth graders in North Carolina that has gotten directly involved in questioning a proposal to sell timber in a national forest ...more
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This New York Times article highlights a class of sixth graders in North Carolina that has gotten directly involved in questioning a proposal to sell timber in a national forest near their homes. The letters class members wrote provoked an unusual response.

In the Classroom

Try using this story as a springboard to a discussion about government and citizen involvement. Is there an issue or project about which your students feel strongly? What can they do to affect the outcome?

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Grading on a Curve - New York Times

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6 to 12
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Just how effective are the six key issues of President Bush's domestic agenda? This lesson gives students a chance to assume the role of political analyst as they critically examine...more
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Just how effective are the six key issues of President Bush's domestic agenda? This lesson gives students a chance to assume the role of political analyst as they critically examine the Bush administration. The goal is to create a report card addressing the efficacy of selected domestic topics. Includes suggestions for interdisciplinary activities and projects. Aligned to standards.

tag(s): foreign policy (16), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Though a bit outdated for a current events class, this would be a great lesson in a US government class looking at the Presidency of George H.W. Bush. Save this lesson as a favorite on your desktop to allow for easy retrieval later on - though be sure to look closely at the lesson and make sure that students have learned enough of the contextual information to be able to make sense of the article. For differentiation, peruse the article before-hand, creating a list of words that students may have trouble with or may not be familiar with. Create a follow-along for the article, defining those words selected to help students as they read. This will allow lower achieving readers to be able to process the information more efficiently and with more comprehension.

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Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary - Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary

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7 to 12
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Much more than a biographical resource, this site is filled with interactive treasures and multimedia features. Click on "Online Exhibition" to access a wealth of visual treats and...more
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Much more than a biographical resource, this site is filled with interactive treasures and multimedia features. Click on "Online Exhibition" to access a wealth of visual treats and activities. Set type and print your name on an 18th century printing press, listen to the wisdom of Silence Dogood, or test your knowledge of classic Franklin proverbs and aphorisms. This is an outstanding tribute to the legacy of one of America's most beloved founding fathers.

tag(s): colonial america (107), franklin (12)

In the Classroom

Beyond the items mentioned in the review, this site has a variety of free lesson plans offered for grades k-12. They also list several programs and free resources that can help teachers find more information about Franklin.

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GOV.com - GOV.com

Grades
9 to 12
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Need an honest, unbiased resource on government news and policy? Tap into this site that delivers verifiable information on everything from FBI press releases, to travel warnings, to...more
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Need an honest, unbiased resource on government news and policy? Tap into this site that delivers verifiable information on everything from FBI press releases, to travel warnings, to White House statements. No media editing, opinion, or commentary provided! Let your students add that!

In the Classroom

Enrich a current events discussion with this resource. Compare what is heard and seen by students in the media with the facts that appear on this site.

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Indivisible - Duke University

Grades
8 to 12
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The real-life struggles and stories of Americans living in twelve diverse communities are highlighted in this multimedia documentary. Through photographs and recorded voices, visitors...more
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The real-life struggles and stories of Americans living in twelve diverse communities are highlighted in this multimedia documentary. Through photographs and recorded voices, visitors to this site can catch a glimpse of the community spirit that compels individuals to find ways to improve their lives and surroundings.

tag(s): communities (35)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a springboard to a class project. Ask your students to document the community spirit in their own town, city, or neighborhood using photography, video, and personal interviews.

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New Sense, Inc. vs. Fish Till U Drop - EconEdLink

Grades
9 to 12
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Here's an economics lesson for high school students that explores the rights of individuals versus the obligations of government to preserve and protect natural resources. The site...more
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Here's an economics lesson for high school students that explores the rights of individuals versus the obligations of government to preserve and protect natural resources. The site presents opposing economic theories and asks students to evaluate the merits of each as they apply to a hypothetical example. While written as an economics lesson, this example could also work as part of a government class. Aligned to national standards.

tag(s): natural resources (59), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan about the economics of natural resources. Be sure to save the site as a favorite on your classroom computer to allow for easy retrieval later on.

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9/11 - Voices of Reflection - NPR

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6 to 12
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This collection of first-person accounts, reflections, and musical offerings makes an interesting retrospective on the September 11 attacks, and one that classes can listen and react...more
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This collection of first-person accounts, reflections, and musical offerings makes an interesting retrospective on the September 11 attacks, and one that classes can listen and react to together. These recordings could offer a variety of ways in which to focus a discussion of those events.

tag(s): sept11 (21)

In the Classroom

Use some of the first hand accounts as a way to teach both about primary sources and the events of 9/11. Divide the class into cooperative learning groups, preferably with 4-5 differing groups. Assign each group a different primary source from the site, with the intentions of presenting a summary to the class. Once all the groups have presented their summaries, play a quick game "survivor" style in which students defend their pieces by validity and reliability. Have a representative from each group go to the front of the classroom, presenting a brief argument where theirs is the most reliable source. After each has presented, have the class vote off sources in rounds until there is only one left! This is a fun way to both teach the content & incorporate historical thinking skills.

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Records Pertaining to John G. Roberts - National Archives

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9 to 12
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This collection of records of the professional career of John Roberts offers an interesting, if daunting, primary resource for examining the Supreme Court nominee's past decisions....more
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This collection of records of the professional career of John Roberts offers an interesting, if daunting, primary resource for examining the Supreme Court nominee's past decisions. AP history or government students may find this one a useful research tool.

tag(s): supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

Too often in the upper levels students have extreme problems interpreting and comprehending decisions and memorandums written by Congress of the Supreme Court. Use this site to help students get accustomed and assimilated to the language and writing style commonly used in Judicial writings. And activity such as this would be useful before interpreting important court decisions such as Plessy v. Ferguson or Brown v Board of Education. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and open one of the memorandums written by Judge Roberts. Analyze with students each of the seperate sections or paragraph to give them familiarity. Teachers can leave it at this, or have students practice writing their own memorandums after wards, using one of his as an example.

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John Roberts Nominated as Chief Justice - NPR

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6 to 12
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NPR's collection of stories about the Roberts nomination includes background on his career, a look at the confirmation process, and discussions of Roberts and the rare opportunity to...more
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NPR's collection of stories about the Roberts nomination includes background on his career, a look at the confirmation process, and discussions of Roberts and the rare opportunity to fill two court vacancies. Useful for individual or group use.

tag(s): senate (9), supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

Though there have been judges nominated and appointed more recently than Roberts, this site provides some excellent information that makes it a great resource for a lesson on judicial nominations. Use this site as a hands-on activity after a class discussion or lecture on the topic. Have cooperative learning groups explore the site with the intentions of showing how Roberts moved through the processes to become a judge. Have students create graphic organizers or concept maps demonstrating the process. Use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share the concept maps.

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Stand and Be Heard - Tracy Hamner and Carolyn Constantakis

Grades
9 to 12
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Picture this: The high school in which you teach has hired an expert in criminal profiling to survey the student body with the intent of identifying potential future criminals. ...more
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Picture this: The high school in which you teach has hired an expert in criminal profiling to survey the student body with the intent of identifying potential future criminals. After reading through the survey, students are upset by this blatant invasion of personal privacy and decide to stage a protest. This WebQuest presents such a scenario, then asks students to research and select the style of "civil disobedience" that would be most appropriate and effective for resisting this policy. Aligned to Standards.

tag(s): webquests (29)

In the Classroom

For the presentation, consider having students use Google Docs Presentation, reviewed here. This allows for easy feedback & sharing, and saves time from waiting for PowerPoint presentations to upload.

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Taming Terrorism - PBS

Grades
9 to 12
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Since September 11, 2001, terrorism has been an ever-present topic in current events discussions. This lesson plan addresses the question of how to stop international terrorism. After...more
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Since September 11, 2001, terrorism has been an ever-present topic in current events discussions. This lesson plan addresses the question of how to stop international terrorism. After preparing a timeline of recent terrorist activities, students examine characteristics of terrorist groups, research the efforts of various organizations who are working to eliminate terrorism, and develop recommendations for possible solutions. Aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): terrorism (49), terrorist (16), timelines (62)

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Watergate Revisited - Washington Post

Grades
7 to 12
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The unmasking of "deep throat," the shadowy informant in the Watergate saga, has prompted a new wave of interest in the sandal that changed American government forever. This retrospective...more
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The unmasking of "deep throat," the shadowy informant in the Watergate saga, has prompted a new wave of interest in the sandal that changed American government forever. This retrospective from the Washington Post provides not only a current summary, but a review of the original coverage, from the newspaper that broke the story.

tag(s): 1970s (12), water (130)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have students explore the site with the intentions of creating a summary of the most important events. Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Students can write the book from the perspective of Nixon or Deep throat...a great way to introduce the topic in a non-lecture format.

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History Explorer - Smithsonian

Grades
6 to 12
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This multimedia site explores various facets of American history through Lessons, interactives, Themes and more. Visitors can view objects that are part of the Smithsonian collection,...more
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This multimedia site explores various facets of American history through Lessons, interactives, Themes and more. Visitors can view objects that are part of the Smithsonian collection, navigate between historical eras, or filter the information by selected themes (Arts and Culture, Politics and Reform, etc.) Items in the exhibit are linked to National Museum of American History websites that provide more in-depth information.

tag(s): agriculture (55), american revolution (86), famous people (19), japan (61), japanese (42), jazz (15), lincoln (86), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. There is enough information in "exhibit" details to provide a starting point for students trying to decide what to base a research project on. Recommend the site to students who are having difficulty picking a project subject.
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Foreign War and Domestic Freedom - Public Affairs Television

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9 to 12
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Should government restrict the civil liberties of its citizens during times of war or threatened national security? This beautifully organized lesson plan guides students in an exploration...more
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Should government restrict the civil liberties of its citizens during times of war or threatened national security? This beautifully organized lesson plan guides students in an exploration of the tensions that exist between external threats and internal liberties in democratic societies. Includes a downloadable PowerPoint show and worksheets.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan during a unit on the homefront during a modern war or the construction of the Constitution. Save this one as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval.

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Face to Face: Stories from an Aftermath of Infamy - ITVS

Grades
8 to 12
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This collection of real-life stories from Japanese Americans and Arab and Muslim Americans explores the issues of civil liberties in the wake of two days that changed the world forever...more
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This collection of real-life stories from Japanese Americans and Arab and Muslim Americans explores the issues of civil liberties in the wake of two days that changed the world forever - December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001. Racial hatred, fear, distrust, national loyalty, and the validity of constitutional rights are just a few of the complex issues addressed in the riveting audio interviews. A series of lesson plans guides teachers and students through a comparison of how America responded to these two ethnic groups after the two respective tragedies.

tag(s): racism (18), sept11 (21), terrorism (49), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site. The oral interviews would make a great in-class activity, playing them over the projector or interactive whiteboard. Select a section and play the interviews, usually around 5-10 minutes total. Have students listen to the interviews, and write or discuss a response afterwards. Very moving interviews, making a solid base for a class discussion on racism and the effects of globalization.

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Kids and Teens Action without Borders - Action Without Borders

Grades
3 to 12
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This site presents thoughtful and inspiring ways for kids to take an active role in improving the community around them. Click on the "Take a Lead" link for practical ways ...more
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This site presents thoughtful and inspiring ways for kids to take an active role in improving the community around them. Click on the "Take a Lead" link for practical ways to turn your ideas into reality. Plenty of real-life examples are provided, but some creative brainstorming in your classroom is a must. Dozens of lesson plans, covering everything from environmental issues to economics and human rights are provided in the "For Teachers" section.

tag(s): civil rights (117)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site in a civics or government course in order to show students how important political awareness and activism can be - and how they can get involved. Dependent on your class, it may not be important to advocate that they join the cause - but more introduce it and let them know that they can. This might be better at the end of a civics course, culminating all the information they have learned thus far and showing a practical application of it.

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Declaration of Independence - National Archives

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7 to 12
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The National Archives has created an intriguing site that reveals some little known information about this historic document. Discover the number of signers who were born in Europe,...more
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The National Archives has created an intriguing site that reveals some little known information about this historic document. Discover the number of signers who were born in Europe, meet the signer who was a musician, and find out who was the youngest at the time of the signing. A special feature allows you to add your own signature to the document. Also includes a time line detailing the creation of the document.

tag(s): american revolution (86), declaration of independence (13), evolution (100)

In the Classroom

Use the "Meet the founding fathers" section as the basis of character roles for a in-class town hall meeting, recreating the events of the constitutional convention. Assign students different roles, i.e. founding fathers, and have them use the biographies of this site to allow them to research who their role was and what their beliefs were for a debate as to whether or not to sign the Declaration of Independence. If students stick to their assigned perspectives, the town-hall meeting can be a great way to review the important reasons for independence and the various perspectives that existed.
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The Choice 2004 - PBS Frontline

Grades
8 to 12
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Differences between the two presidential candidates are highlighted in this site that examines their lives, experiences, and world views. Dozens of interviews with colleagues, family,...more
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Differences between the two presidential candidates are highlighted in this site that examines their lives, experiences, and world views. Dozens of interviews with colleagues, family, and adversaries are included, along with a chronology of each man's life. Portions of the companion television special can be viewed online.

Although this resource was created for the 2004 Presidential election, the background information, interviews, and links are valuable for teaching about elections in general and for comparing elections as part of U.S. history.

tag(s): elections (75)

In the Classroom

Government teachers teaching about the past few election OR attempting to provide examples of the two party system will appreciate this site. The site has information about Bush & Kerry's political beliefs that can be easily compared to show the differences between the two parties. As a class, compare with a tool such as Venn Diagram on the Interactive Whiteboard or projector. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).

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What the World Thinks of America - Guardian Unlimited

Grades
9 to 12
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Current Events, U.S. Government, U.S. History - Use this site to generate some heated discussion in your classroom, if you dare, and bring a global view to the 2004 Presidential ...more
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Current Events, U.S. Government, U.S. History - Use this site to generate some heated discussion in your classroom, if you dare, and bring a global view to the 2004 Presidential election. Although this resource was created for the 2004 election, the information is valuable for teaching about elections in general and for comparing elections as part of U.S. history. Summary articles and survey results from polls conducted throughout the world provide insight into peoples' opinions of the policies, president and people of the United States.

tag(s): foreign policy (16)

In the Classroom

Although the information is a little out of date, this could be useful for discussing the impact of globalization on American Politics. Share the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, using it to start a discussion as to why this is important. Teachers can also use the information as a writing prompt. Pull up the results of the poll on the interactive whiteboard and have students write a short essay as to whether or not the results surprised them, what this could mean, and how this impacts foreign relations. This would be useful in either a civics or history class.

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